This book is delightfully bonkers. Set over a million years, it focuses on a short period in 1986 when a small group of people became stranded on one of the Galapagos islands. These people seed the future of the human race after other circumstances cause humans every where else in the world to die out. It’s all narrated by the ghost of Kilgore Trout’s son. Obviously.
This is only my second Vonnegut book after I finally got around to reading Slaughterhouse Five last summer. I listen avidly to the bookshambles podcast and they talk about Vonnegut A LOT. So I knew I wanted to read more. This one doesn’t appear on any YOU MUST READ THIS VONNEGUT BEFORE YOU DIE lists, but it’s on my book challenge list for the year. I knew if I like this there must be more that I would just LOVE.
The assorted characters are booked onto the Nature Cruise of the Century to the Galapagos islands. We have a Japanese computer genius, an expert flower arranger ( these two are husband and wife), a straight laced widow, a conman, a business man and his blind daughter. With various other characters, the small connections between their lives are revealed, along with much information about their intended cruise destination, the Galapagos islands, and Charles Darwin’s adventures there. We find out from our narrator what he thinks went wrong with humans, and find out how different (improved?) their lives are a million years after the events of the book, when they are all descended from the small group that finally made the Nature Cruise of the Century.
It’s a crazy story of small events that have lasting consequences. I loved this book and I can’t wait to read some more Vonnegut. 🙂